Xbox One Major Update: Microsoft Plans to Introduce New Interface, and to Shut Down ‘Snap’ Mode
Our review of Xbox One described how the original interface made everyone go crazy and how the new interface, which rolled out in November 2015, helped the users a lot. But now Microsoft plans to introduce new interface which would allow us to seamlessly stroll through it and to make the console more faster.
No release dates for the update has been specified yet, but Xbox Insiders got a taste of the new interface and it seems great. Please don’t expect a huge change, though. But the new update brings changes to the quick access menu. The update allows you to easily interact with your home screen items through the quick access menu. That means you can now find a shortcut for ‘My Games & Apps’ section, recently played games and apps, and even your pins. The notable addition is an extra easy menu for your music options(play, pause, etc). These factors do make the overall navigation easier.
Also, the Achievements section is getting a great tracker option. The update allows you to fix a transparent text box to any of your game which will show the progress of your desired yet-to-achieve achievement. Let me clarify more, you need to kill 100 enemies with a grenade, and you want to know how much is left out of that hundred, so just navigate to your game tile and you can find the text box tracking that achievement.
Microsoft is also serving people with disabilities to enjoy their product through the new Co-Pilot mode. The Co-Pilot mode allows you to assign two controllers to one person. This will help people with disabilities like placing the two controllers to their convenient areas. Small children can also be controlled by the adults with this new mode. Microsoft is also improving the home theater functionality, by aiming to implement Dolby Atmos feature into Xbox One. This would provide 360 audio support for Xbox One although separate headphones may be required. Microsoft will provide the devs a ‘spatial audio’ toggle which will help them to implement the 360-audio feature into their applications.
Improved Multitasking: Goodbye Snap Mode!
“Xbox One’s main launch attraction was multi-tasking and even after many of its vision has changed, snapping on Xbox One is still holding up and it’s a feature that no other console has till now. You can snap almost any app you downloaded from the Store alongside your game. This is at its best when you want to find a secret collectible or want to watch a walkthrough for your game, you can snap YouTube or Dailymotion aside your game and can play along with it. Skype calls can also be snapped while you play (Skype on Xbox One requires Kinect).” – My impression on Snap mode in my Xbox One review.
Snap mode was a great addition but now Microsoft is dumping it but for a reason of improved multitasking. Snap mode made you snap any app alongside your game so that you can watch movies through Netflix or stream walkthroughs from Youtube while playing your game on one side of your screen. But snapping an app made the game to switch to a smaller aspect ratio, which made the experience a bit boring. Take a look at the image below to understand more.
But now Microsoft is replacing Snap mode with “a picture-in-picture multitasking implementation, where ‘snapped’ app would simply hover in the corner of your game, rather than wiping out a quarter of your screen with a largely empty bar”. This would be a great addition because it allows you to experience your game completely while you can view your snapped app in a ‘picture-in-picture’ mode. This would also fasten the console as Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra tweeted last day.
We replaced Snap to improve multitasking, reduce memory use, improve overall speed, and free up resources going forward for bigger things.
— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) January 24, 2017
Microsoft also stated before the console’s launch that 10% of its GPU processing would be allotted to Kinect voice commands “and for the rendering of concurrent system content such as Snap mode.”